House Passes Internet Cafe Bill

House Passes Internet Cafe Bill

The Ohio House, by a 63-30 vote, passed House Bill 605, which many believe will put Internet cafes out of business. The bill now goes to the Senate in hopes of a final vote before the legislative session ends later this month.

Among the provisions of HB 605:

  • Internet cafes would have to register with the attorney general’s office;
  • Clarifies definitions of such terms as sweepstakes, scheme of chance and sweepstakes terminal device;
  • Daily cash payouts or merchandise prizes above $10 would be banned;
  • Establishes criminal penalties for violators.

Opponents of these sweepstakes cafes have maintained that such businesses are illegal gambling that need to be stopped. Proponents claim the cafes are merely selling a product and the prizes are a marketing tool to promote the product.

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